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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Okay, I have a ceramic hand drum with a natural skin head. It is lovely.

I also have a fiberglass and synthetic head one. It is very nice.

They both have their plusses and minusses. They both have great, though very different, sound.

I love my ceramic one but it is so fragile! When I am transporting it I have to be careful not to chip it. If there is humidity or off weather it effects the sound/play-ability. It is very tempermental. And it's heavy. But the sound it puts out is sublime.

The fiberglass one. Sturdy, all weather loveliness. While the sound of it is excellent, it isn't as rich as my "natural" drum.

I haven't had the fiberglass on long. I've had my natural one for years.

Any pitfalls I can expect with the synth one?

Which do you prefer and why?
Thanks!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5687
Posted:My fave drum, the cajon, is all wood, even the "skin". Not particularly weather friendly, and quite fragile as well. But oooooo, it's just so fun biggrin

My tabla I love, but are so heat dependent they're just not practical to travel anywhere with.

My djembe's is a bit poo - natural skin, so a bit iffy in the cold/damp, but it's too small to get any nice bass tones out of so I rarely play it smile


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xjere
xjere

Member

Member Since: 25th Jul 2007
Total posts: 38
Posted:I own two drums: an ashiko, and a ceramic dumbek, both with natural heads.I haven't had much problem with them, though I do joke around that my ashiko wakes up about as quickly as I do.

a little bit of fire will get it in tune within a couple minutes though.

As for synth head, I just don't like the sound of them. They're like trying to play classical guitar on a steel guitar.


Who wants to see a monkey on fire?


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:my synth is a djembe

my natural is a dumbek, and yes..weather is a horrible thing with it. How is your tabla heat dependent?

Is the cajon the spanish box drum? If so, how does weather effect it? I've seen them in extreme heat and humidity but since I am not sure how they are supposed to sound, I don't know if it was off.

I forgot to add that I know our bodhrans are really weather sensitive as well. I'm looking for one that isn't now.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by: xjere


a little bit of fire will get it in tune within a couple minutes though.




I was always told that this is *really* bad for the head as it dries it out too much and over time can cause it to become brittle. How long have you been doing this? Have you heard of that before?


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


xjere
xjere

Member

Member Since: 25th Jul 2007
Total posts: 38
Posted: Written by: Pele


 Written by: xjere


a little bit of fire will get it in tune within a couple minutes though.




I was always told that this is *really* bad for the head as it dries it out too much and over time can cause it to become brittle. How long have you been doing this? Have you heard of that before?



Been doing it for three plus years now and have yet to crack a head. As long as you don't heat the head too fast there's not much to worry about, just don't bring it any closer to a fire than you normally would.

Also, if you go to the shoe-polish section of most stores (Walgreens I know for a fact) and pick up mink oil, you can use it to relax the drum head, and keep it from getting brittle. A can will last you for ages too, as you only need to really oil it once a year.

You should probably also oil it about three months after you pick up a new drum (especially brand new). Mink oil makes a decent protectant, and will also help the drum settle.


Who wants to see a monkey on fire?


Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:mm heaps of people I know use the fire method for tuning...drums go in and out of tune a lot.

Synth is great for travel - light, strong, and customs cant complain! smile

I like natural however for the 'fuller' sound.

Josh


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Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!


Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5687
Posted:The cajon is actually peruvian, but made it's way into spain and flamenco movement in the 1970s where it got really popular. I only point this out as the amount of hassle you get from Peruvians if you post a cajon video on YouTube without crediting Peru is unbelievable wink

As it's not tuned, nor tuneable, there's not much variance with temperature - moisture however isn't too great for wood so I try to keep in it in its' case when not being played. It also doesn't sit too well sonically with other drums (IMO) so it rarely comes out at festivals...

There's a couple of synthetic doumbeks which are sold as "weatherproof" - i.e. very little variance in tuning at different temps.
In my mind doumbeks on the whole have less resonance/tone, whereas djembe have that beautiful ringing tone - making them much more susceptible to poor weather. Likewise placing it near a fire and gently massaging the head to even out the pressue doesn't cause too many issues.

With tabla, the duggi (larger one of the pair) is sealed (no sound hole) and metal - so when they get cold, they really de-tune. Again, a bit of warmth from something solves this, but i've never seen such a difference with a hot/cold drum as with tabla - completely unplayable, almost slack skin, as opposed to "not quite right".

I should really play my tabla more...


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:I'm all for natural drums - except if it comes to travelling. The GOOD drums are usually very, errm VERY HEAVY. Even if at first the sounds of lightweight drums do convince, in the long run the heavy drum is having a lot greater spectrum of sounds.

But I understand that "synthetic instruments" often make the difference between travelling with an instrument or travelling without. In terms of weight, durability, weather resistance and size a "synthetic instrument" can give you a lot of advantage.

I recommend: Compact Congas, Slide Didjeridoos and the ultimate: Roland HPD 10 Handsonic and the Fender Ampcan... shrug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:hehe - those handsonics are amazing! I played one in a local music shop - I set it to mimic Tabla sounds, and I couldnt believe it! I sounded like I was going off on Tablas! it was a little too easy to play, a bit like DJ'ing on a computer with a one-click beat match function is cheating... wink

FireTom, do those compact congas require amplification?

Josh


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Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!


Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5687
Posted:I've had a play with the compacts - they're pretty impressive, not sure on the exact stats, but i'd say somewhere around 80% of the volume.
If you've ever played Arbiter Flats, they're very similar. You lose some of the warmth and a bit of the bass, but for jamming and travel they're ideal.

Mmmm, Handsonics.


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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Hmmm...wow....methinks I'm in over my head here.

I've only been playing my dumbek for about 4 years, and even then only middle eastern rhythms for dance shows. Before then my drumming was mostly limited to water drums at local pow-wows (which I *still* love so much!)

Recently I have started branching out, especially into African, Indian and Flamenco rhythms but because I learned rhythms sets formally, I have problems jamming...and ghosting.
Working on it though.

This has been very interesting guys. Thank you so much! I am being all spongey, wishing I had more to contribute tho.
Thanks again!!!

hug


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5687
Posted:African rhythms still make my head hurt - "micro-timings" bleurgh.

http://www.youtube.com/user/cajonperuano - They've got some good tutorials on afro-peruvian rhythms, all in very quick spanish sadly, but good fun nonetheless. Mostly with cajon, but the rhythms are translatable to most drums.



Indian music is tonically strange to Westerners, but rhythmically I don't find it too bad... Similair to New Orleans 2nd line drumming, somewhere between swing and straight, but more skippy smile



Flamenco - mmmmmm ubblove YouTube - Ojos de Brujos, wicked 9 or 10-piece band; percussionist, cajonista, drummer (often switching to cajon)

Not the best quality, but here's them playing "Accion, Reaccion, Repurcussion" - 3 cajons in perfect unison ubblove






Jamming is my preference, I think i'd get bored in say a samba band playing the same beat. Love to listen to it, wouldn't want to play it smile



Ghosting? As in ghost-notes and filling in the spaces between hits? I've got a couple of exercises for that somewhere from my drum-kit teaching days...

EDITED_BY: Durbs (1195040207)


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Josh, they are lacking most of the bass and body (obviously) but they don't really need amplification. Good solid volume - my cat hates them, my neighbors prefer me not playing after 10pm wink For me it has been the choice between them, or no congas at all ... well ... in real life I would only opt for real congas.

The Handsonic is ... (lacking expression) When I'm older I will get one for the child in me. The Tabla sound's just... did you try the Ultrasonic special feature? I was almost falling over backwards when the guy showed me.

Maybe something in this video (can't watch due to band"narrow")

http://youtube.com/watch?v=UYoCBWDHVt0

Waterdrums? Not the (natural) African kind, Pele? *dwells*


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jeffhigh
Member
Location: Caves Beach, NSW
Member Since: 15th Oct 2005
Total posts: 89
Posted:The cast Aluminium body /synthetic head dumbeks are a great alternative to the ceramic drums.
Less fragile, tunable, comfortable playing surface and good sound.
Not the cheap and light spun sheet metal ones the heavier cast ones with recessed tuning screws